Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Poetry for Learning German
von Adrian-Moritz, 5 Jahre
Adrian geh vom Schluesselloch,
der Weihnachtsmann der sieht das doch!
Geht davon wenn man ihn stoert,
Adrian hast du nicht gehoert?
Aber Adrian der tat es doch,
schaute durch das Schuesselloch,
Weihnachtsmann veraergert sehr,
ging davon und kam nicht mehr.
Wolf learned this poem in class today. I love this poem-- already the title, with its forever LONG noun which translates to "the guy who is peeking through the keyhole"!
Wolf is loving his German class, and does pretty well. He's got a real advantage , esp. pronunciation-wise, since he's heard a bit of German here & there...
But, I'm GUILTY, I did not teach my children my mother tongue. alas!
WHY, you may ask, didn't I?
Well, it's complicated. I grew up in a German family, but lived in Chile and the Philippines for all but 5 years of my non-infant childhood. My parents managed to keep the German language alive: it was always spoken at home, while we spoke Spanish or English on the playground. When I was 17, I came to this country to study at university -- and never left...
Along comes American husband #1 who was attracted to my cute accent at first, but by the time we had our child, Eldest, he did not want me to speak a foreign language (nor have an accent)! What's a young mom to do? -- it was easier just to stick to English, and sing the occasional lullaby in German... By the time the marriage had broken apart, English was entrenched, and Eldest was in full-time daycare, while I was just trying to keep my head above water...
Along comes husband #2 (I can stop counting now!), an American of Swedish descent, who had no problem with my accent -- in fact, he says he can't even hear it anymore. We were both graduate students, plenty busy, and when the wolf pup arrived, we just kept on speaking English -- after all, Eldest would have been left out... True, that would have been a good time to start the Swede and Eldest on learning German, but we were WAY too busy working on our doctorate degrees...
Life did slow down when we moved to Alaska, where the pixie was born. The Prof had finished his PhD, and I had long ago given up on mine (another long story), so life was simple: diapers, baking bread, quilting, discovering Alaska... learning German as a family would have been nice, but we were way too entrenched in the "Englische" World by then, plus did not have any Teutons to "quatschen" with (The one Swiss German I met does not count -- I could barely understand her!)
So I leave you with one more poem, this one written by a local teacher, for teaching the irregular German verb for "to be":
Ich bin hier,
Du bist da,
Er ist in Amerika.
Wir sind gross,
Ihr seid klein,
Sie sind an dem schoenen Rhein.